Ever since I was a small kid I’ve wanted to visit the original Disneyland in California and this week after many years of waiting I finally got there, just one small problem, I only had one day available to visit. After lots of research and careful planning I came up with a one day guide to follow and I just about managed to do it. Read on to see how my Disneyland adventure unfolded.
Gates opened at 8 am and I was there with my ticket and hundreds of other people queuing to get in but it didn’t take long and once inside the Disney magic began.
Upon entering the park Main Street USA is the first area you come to, it’s lined with shops and places to eat but as I was on a tight schedule I carried on straight down and through Sleeping Beauty’s Castle into Fantasyland.
My first stop was Peter Pan’s Flight, one of the parks most popular rides. After boarding your flying pirate ship you are taken on a voyage through the world of Peter Pan and into Never Never Land.
Moving swiftly on I walk into Tomorrowland and on to the Finding Nemo Submarine ride. I thought this ride was quite fun and it’s unique to this particular park. Boarding a sort of submarine you can look out of portholes into the water and see what’s happening in and around the “ocean floor”.
While I’m in Tomorrowland I pick up a Fastpast for Hyper Space Mountain which I’m going to use a bit later.
Just across from the Fastpass area is Star Tours. The journey starts in the queue as you are taken into an intergalactic spaceport with StarSpeeders, and an alien air traffic control station with robots like R2 D2 and C3PO hard at work. You are then split into groups where you board your vehicle for your journey into space.
Also in the vicinity and right opposite Star Tours is Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, don’t be put off if there’s a long line, it moves quickly. This ride was good fun, you board the Space Cruisers and use the onboard laser guns to shoot at targets around you to score points.
It was now time to use my Fastpass for Hyper Space Mountain. Not as good as the Disney World or the Disneyland Paris versions but still worth a ride.
Leaving Tomorrowland I return to Fantasyland where I join the queue for the Matterhorn Bobsleds. Be aware that there are two queue lines here as there are two identical rides that run along side each other. This was the world’s first steel rollercoaster. You are taken to the top of the mountain in your bobsled where you encounter the yeti, from there it’s a race to the bottom.
From Fantasyland I walk over to Adventureland and get myself a Fastpass for the Indiana Jones Adventure ride.
The Enchanted Tiki Room in Adventureland takes you into a land of singing flowers and birds, there are 225 of them. It’s a little dated but is one of Walt Disney’s original attractions.
Back through into Fantasyland and on to It’s A Small World. This is a Disney classic and one of the most memorable, and popular rides in the park. Featuring hundreds of dolls singing along to an irritatingly catchy tune about the uniting of the world as you sail past leisurely in your boat.
My time had come to ride the Indiana Jones Adventure so on my way to it I picked up another Fastpass for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Frontierland.
Your adventure with Indiana Jones begins as you enter the forbidden temple. An enhanced motion vehicle gets you right into the action with rolling boulders, snakes and bugs.
In New Orleans Square I join the queue for Pirates of the Caribbean. The queue moved fairly quickly and I was soon boarding my boat for my journey into the pirate world. This was the last attraction that Walt Disney had a hand in designing.
Right next door is the Haunted Mansion. This is part walk through and part ride which helps keep the queue moving. The “doombuggies” rotate and tilt to show scenes around them as necessary. It’s a fun ride but not particularly scary.
Back in Adventureland I stop and explore Tarzan’s Treehouse a self guided walk through attraction that tells the story of Tarzan’s wild jungle upbringing. You can see Tarzan’s home built in an 80 foot tall tree.
Time was moving fast so I stopped for a snack and a break, it had been two hours since I’d picked up my last Fastpass so I could now get another one for Splash Mountain in Critter Country.
Going back into Frontierland I ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad a gentle-ish rollercoaster ride through western towns and flooding caves, a Disney classic in my opinion.
Afterwards I join the queue to ride The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Riding inside of one of Pooh’s honey pots you are taken on a slow, gentle ride through the stories of Winnie the Pooh.
Finally it was time to use my last Fastpass for Splash Mountain. This log flume style ride was inspired by Br’er Rabbit’s adventure and the “Song of the South” film. Starting off quite tame it ends with a big 52 foot drop and lots of water.
That was it, all the major attraction done, I was shattered but had enjoyed the park immensely. My plan was to go back and see one of the night parades and the fireworks but I somehow managed to fall asleep and miss them, still I suppose it leaves me something else to do next time.
There’s a lot more to see and do at Disneyland than I’ve covered here and I would recommend at least taking two days to make the most of the park.